Paranormal Activity 2 Blu-Ray Review
|AVC MPEG-4||DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1||M||Brian Boland|
As far as creepy unsettling horror films go, Paranormal Activity was a huge success. Made on a shoestring budget of $15,000, the movie eventually went on to gross $193 million worldwide. Naturally, a sequel was commissioned and at a cost of only $3 million Paranormal Activity 2 is born. Despite the budget bump, Paranormal Activity 2 feels very similar to its predecessor.
|Paranormal Activity 2 is out now on Blu-Ray.|
Paranormal Activity 2 centres around Kristi (played by Sprague Grayden) and Dan (Brian Boland). Kristi and Dan are a couple living in a two bedroom home, they share a house with Dan's daughter Ali (Molly Ephraim) and a housekeeper named Martine. Kristi and Dan's first child together Hunter is a newborn who also lives in the household. There is a link to the first film in Paranormal Activity 2, Kristi's sister is Katie, a character from the first film.
Anyone who has seen the first film knows what to expect from Paranormal Activity 2. The movie is very good at setting up some scary moments and the tension and build up can be very freaky at times, but the film is never really terrifying. There is a huge build up in Paranormal Activity 2 that ultimately leads to a very small climax. So while Paranormal Activity 2 is a scary movie, it's not terrifying, by any stretch of the imagination.
|As a sequel Paranormal Activity 2 impresses.|
Cleverly though, the film is very well written. The movie serves as a prequel to the first film and it's definitely worth watching the movie if not just to see where the writers have taken the series. There are moments where things that happened from the first film are better explained, which adds an extra layer of depth to the film.
Unsurprisingly, the movies climax leaves the door wide open for another sequel, so while a horror franchise like Saw may be coming to an end (probably after about six too many sequels - Dave), we think the Paranormal Activity franchise is well and truly ready to take it's place.
|A viewpoint from one of the security cameras.|
As a side note this Blu-Ray includes two versions of the film, both the original Theatrical Version (which runs for 1:31:07) as well as an Extended Edition which adds 7 minutes (bringing the runtime to 1:38:05). The extra minutes add in a few bits but there are no major alterations to the plotline.
By it's very nature the video on Paranormal Activity 2 mostly comprises of footage from handicams. This is the overall look and intention of the film and you'll either love it or hate it. The movie looks the best it would look on any format and the transfer is solid. Sure, there is harsh lighting and jagged edges right throughout, but complaining about this, would be akin to complaining about the shaky camera in Cloverfield. The video hovered around 26-28Mbps on the PlayStation 3.
|Watching the dog near the pool.|
Paranormal Activity 2 features an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and it sounds decent. There is some decent background noise, but most of the sound comes from the centre, there are very, very few sound effects which come from the left or right speakers, but this is the very nature of the film. The screams are loud and occasionally there are some heavy sound effects that add to the overall feel of the film. The audio hovered around 2-3 Mbps on my PlayStation 3.
Besides the primary English track the Paranormal Activity 2 Blu-Ray includes French, Spanish, and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Subtitles are provided in English, English SHD, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Paranormal Activity 2 comes in a Triple Play pack, consisting of the Blu-Ray, a DVD copy and a digital copy. The digital copy is of a good quality (and was sampled on an iPad) and the colours are decent. The special features in Paranormal Activity 2 aren't exactly plentiful...
Found Footage (3:49/HD): Found Footage contains only deleted scenes and these deleted scenes are in high definition, but there is nothing here that really deserves to be in the film.
|Of course many happenings occur at night.|
Teaser Trailer (1:07/HD): The teaser trailer is also included in high definition, but was only worth watching prior to the release of the film.
Paranormal Activity 2 is a natural continuation of the franchise and contains some cheap thrills and adds a little to the overall storyline of the first film. The movie isn't going to win any awards for terrifying the pants off anyone, but for a decent horror film on a Saturday night it's not a bad choice.
Review By: Dave Warner
Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Paramount. They are only indicative of themovie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.